Bosses Share The Times They Shut Down A Customer With "You're Already Speaking To The Manager"
Anyone who has worked in a customer facing position has had to deal with a customer demanding a manager at least once. Sometimes, they have a valid concern, and it's just something that's out of your hands. Often, though, they're misinformed or just upset and making everyone's lives more difficult.
I'm sure most of us have fantasized about telling off a rude customer or two but, in the interest of keeping our jobs, we keep these thoughts to ourselves. These Redditors, however, were in the position to receive some vindication. Instead of having to call out a manager to tell the customer exactly the same thing they'd just said, they were the manager.
Reddit user forrestJump1 asked:
These responses will warm the heart of many a frustrated customer service employee.
Some responses have been edited for content/clarity.
Sure I Can Get The Manager
Friend of mine: She was getting chewed out over something or other, finally the woman loudly demanded to see the manager. So she shrugged and got the manager.
Manager comes out all confused. Angry woman demands my friend get fired. Manager is very confused "But Ma'am, I can't do that... she is the owner"
When They're Out, They're OutGiphy
10 years ago I was a retail manager for Bath and Body Works. One day during holiday a customer began going off on one of my seasonal employees. Like psychotically screaming at her because we were out of Peppermint Twist body lotion. I walked up and asked the girl to go cover registers and that I would talk to the customer. Customer began yelling at me. After another 5 minutes of insisting it was in the back.
Her “I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER!!”
Me “Miss, I am the manager on duty. This is a popular item. We have none in the back. None of our other stores in the area have anymore. You are welcome to look online but I doubt it is there anymore either. Have a lovely day.”
She turned purple and asked for our customer service number to complain.
It was December 24...
Deputy Andy To The Rescue
I own the building that the company I'm part owner in operates out of. It's in a nice office park with about a dozen other similarly sized stand alone office buildings. We have a dumpster that gets emptied twice a week that sits behind/on the side of our building that has a nice fence around it - the way it sits the parking lot of another building is close to it.
I'm ripping out carpet at my house and each night run by work and dispose some of it (we're not running production that week so there's nothing in the dumpster). On the third and last night before trash comes the next day, I notice a guy smoking by his car at the other office. As I'm getting ready to leave a car comes screeching up the side drive puts his brights on and yells at me to stay where I am.
I pause and it's the same guy and starts yelling at me that he's calling the cops he saw me dumping trash into the dumpster. I asked him what he cares and he said he's on special patrol for this company (the one I'm an owner of and would be in charge of hiring anyone as it is) and I'm in violation and need to remain there. I asked him who he talked to and he said "I don't know his last name but his name is Fred". We have never had a Fred work there.
So he's blocking my exit and I start hearing a siren. This guy says something like "here they come now you're screwed!" so I just sit there another minute. In rolls a county brownie with his lights on he comes strolling up and then says "Hey, what's up?" I said "Hey Andy I'm not sure but this guy here is trespassing on my property". His face at this point gets sheet white.
No I didn't press charges even if you could, but I didn't see him around again. I don't know if he was confused, mentally challenged, he sure seemed to have a short fuse. Officer Andy did take his info though I think more to scare the guy then anything else.
You Can Call Me Colonel
Back when I was in the Air Force there was a base picnic. I was put on the crew to get things set up. This task was finished, and we were just standing around bullsh*tting waiting for people to show up.
A young-looking guy (turns out he was in his 40s, but legitimately looked 25) walks up and starts talking to us. He introduced himself as the new Operations Group commander, and was a Colonel-select. He'd literally arrived on base that very morning, and heard about the picnic.
A couple minutes later, our boss (a Major) shows up and walks over to us. He said, "Hey guys I think the new OG might be here today. Be on your best behavior because I heard he's a real @sshole."
We all stared at him in horror. The OG just smiled, stuck out his hand and said, "Hi. I'm the @sshole, but you can call me Colonel."
Don't Gossip At Parties
I was invited to a birthday party at a remote acquaintance's place. She introduced me to her husband and tried to start a conversation by "you two work in the same field!" So the husband started to talk about his work, while I asked polite questions. Then he started to badmouth about a competitor of the place he worked at. He would claim there was "something shady" about the company, how they would scam customers and can not be trusted. First I asked, where he got his apparent insider knowledge from. When he couldn't name a source I looked at him and said: "No problem buddy, just take the opportunity to ask anything you'd like to fact check, as you are currently talking to the owner of the company!"
The conversations around us literally stopped, and a very awkward silence followed, which I ended by politely saying goodbye.
Good Morning, Councilor
I got a parking ticket a few months ago. When I was waiting in line to pay it I started talking to the lady next to me. Apparently she just got fined under a new ordinance for keeping her work van parked in the street for a month. She was ranting and raving about how the city has become “Nazi Germany” because of laws like this. “Those city councilors are b*stards! How dare they!” I quietly listened and nodded.
Well, I’m on the city council and I helped write that ordinance. We have it in place because people like her keep their cars in front of peoples driveways and make it impossible for them to pull out in the morning.
When I went to the cashier and was greeted with “Good Morning, Councilor” her jaw nearly dropped.
The "Real" Technician
I used to be a cell phone tech in a retail store. We weren't employed by the main company, we were contracted through another company, so our manager hierarchy was separate. I was the only tech on one night, which made me the acting tech manager. I am a woman.
A guy came in and was immediately belligerent wanting his phone fixed, came up to the tech counter. The conversation went something like this:
Me: How can I help you?
Him: My phone is broken I need to talk to the technician.
Me: I'm the technician, what's wrong with your phone?
Him: No, I need to talk to the tech out back.
Me: I'm the only technician on tonight.
Him: No, I mean the guy in the back who fixes the phones.
Me: I *am* the "guy" out back who fixes the phones.
Him: Why won't you let me talk to the real technician? You can't fix this.
Me: (opened the window to the back to show him it's empty) I'm the only *technician* here tonight. What's going on with your phone?
Him: You're being very rude right now, I want to talk to your manager!
Me: My manager is not in right now, I'm the acting technical support manager. How can I help you?
Him: I need to speak to someone above you right now!
Me: There's nobody above me available right now, you'll have to wait until tomorrow during daytime hours.
Him: I don't have time for that! I work for a living!
Me: So do I. As a technician.
Him: I'm not leaving until I talk to someone!
Me: I can get the store manager for you.
Him: Yes! Go get HIM! HE will take care of me! How f*cking stupid can you get, that's what I've wanted!
Me: Ok, I will go get the store manager. (I did, she was also a woman)
Him: Who's this? I wanted the store manager.
Manager: I am the store manager, sir.
Him: She won't let me talk to the technician! (Pointing at me)
Manager: She is the technician, sir.
Him: Well she can't fix my phone!
Manager: (to me) Could we not fix his phone?
Me: He wouldn't tell me what's wrong with it, I don't know yet if we can fix it or not.
Manager: (to him) What's wrong with the phone?
Him: (defeated at this point) It's not sending texts, it's defective, I need a new one.
Manager: (to me) Can we fix that?
Me: Yes, it's a known issue with that model. It just needs a software update, should only take about 10-20 minutes.
Him: Yeah, like *software* is going to do that!
Me: Will you let me try it?
Him: Ok, fine, *try* it. But when it doesn't work I want a new phone!
Me: (updated the software, it worked) Ok, it's been updated successfully and I backed up your contacts and photos so they're all still there. I tested the texting and it's working now. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Him: Took you long enough! And you're very rude!
He Does All The JobsGiphy
Not me, but one of my best friends really made it at a young age already. He's in the hotel business – was night receptionist during college, became F&B manager, moved to assistant general manager, became general manager of one hotel, of two hotels, and then went on to the board of directors of a hotel chain. Mid sized. He was something like director of sales so had to deal with customer complaints occasionally if it got up high enough. Since the chain was not that big, next to his job as sales director he was also the general manager of a smaller hotel that served as his office as well. One day he is planning on heading home around 5 pm when he gets notified that the night receptionist is ill and won't make it – and the day receptionist is leaving for a two weeks holiday after his shift ends. Now since night receptionist has certain responsibilities, not anyone can do it, and they don't find a replacement. So my friend, being on the board of directors, sighs and accepts that he will have to do it for one night, they will work something out for the next days. Mind you, he was only 32 or 33 at that time and has quite the baby face.
Of course somewhere during the evening someone shows up for a late check in. Hotel is fully booked due to some conference nearby. The late arrival has no reservation. Tough luck. But no; he is 100% sure that he has a reservation. My friend checks the system and indeed, he does have a reservation, for the next day/night. Booked online about 5 minutes ago. My friend explains that he is more than welcome the next day but that he cannot help him this evening and tries to give him other options nearby. The dude is not having this and is accusing my friend of being at fault, he has a reservation so he should get a room, it's not his fault the hotel overbooked. As these things go, he asks to speak to the manager.
Now my friend can be a real prick when he is done with your sh*t so he pulls the old "I will get the duty manager for you!", walks through a door, turns around, walks in the reception again and shakes the hand of the guest, presenting himself as the duty manager. Of course, dude throws a fit and gets even madder. "I want to speak to the real manager!". My friend shows him the board that says "General Manager: \[friendsname\]" and asks if he should get the general manger, mister \[friendsname\]. Dude says he better damn well should do that. OF course my friend happily repeats his trick with the door and comes back, pointing at his name tag and explaining that he is the GM of the hotel. Dude storms out shouting that he will write a complaint about this.
Now stuff like this has happened before and most of the time it ends here, but this guy went as far as really writing a complaint and beginning said complaint with demanding that the complaint is sent to higher management immediately and not handled by the GM of the hotel. So of course, the complaint ends up at the desk of the Sales director of the chain. Who, of course, is my friend all the same!
He actually wrote him back a nice reply explaining that the hotel really was fully booked and that the guest by mistake chose the wrong date (of course it was no mistake just a guy hoping that creating a fuzz would land him a room), that the hotel was very sorry and he gave him a 10% discount on his next booking. All this signed by "[friendname], receptionist, duty manager, general manager, director of sales of [hotel chain]".
Always Know Who You're Complaining To
I was working a a receptionist in a hotel in Sydney. I was sitting in the smoking area on my break. New guy - dressed in the same ill fitting plastic suit uniform as me - comes by and sits down. We start chatting... He tells me that it`s his first day on the job and that he is working somewhere in administration. He asked a lot about the hotel, my work place, possible improvements and things like that. My mind must have been somewhere else, because I answered all of his questions without realizing that he was taking notes. I got into quite a rant to be honest. My rant ended with:"We are getting a new general manager soon. Hope he is not @sshole and I hope he starts fixing this place."
That´s when the guy started smiling and asked me if I thought he was an @sshole. That´s when I realized that the new admin guy was actually our new GM.
To be fair: He really was quite nice and we shared many a cigarette during breaks :-)
It's Not All Bad
I used to work at an ice cream shop and on a night when we were short staffed, worked the line scooping ice cream with my team.
I was helping two women who were kinda standoffish and I was doing my best to make conversation and be friendly but it was a little awkward. (I had my customer service smile plastered to my face, and I knew I was a bit much but wanted to try and keep the energy up for my team.)
I got their scoops and sent them down to the register to pay and then was pulled to the back to handle a question from my team.
As soon as I get to the back the person on the register said "there is someone who wants to speak to you."
Knowing we were short staffed I took a deep breath because it was going to be someone complaining about the wait or something like that.
I walk out and it's the two women I just served. Uh oh.
They look at me and say, "YOU'RE the manager?" I put on my biggest customer service smile and say "Yes, I'm so sorry is there something I can help you with?"
"Oh well, this seems silly but we really wanted to commend you for being so bright and cheery. When we were waiting in line we saw you being so friendly with everyone... So uhm. Thanks?"
It was super awkward, so I laughed and thanked them and stood there awkwardly giggling/smiling because I don't know what else to do until they walked away.
I went back in the back and did dishes or something because I couldn't handle talking to people for at least 10 minutes. It was a roller coaster of emotion.
Customer was getting all angry about a coupon. Cashier called me over. Normally, I'd just let it slide and accept the coupon, but then she had the audacity to insult my cashier, claiming she was incompetent. So I denied it, cause f**k this lady. She got all pissy, demanded to talk to the manager.
"Sorry, the manager left for the day, but the supervisor is here."
"Well then, I want to speak to your supervisor," she hissed
"I am the supervisor," I said firmly. "This coupon is not valid."
"Fine!" She huffed and left her stuff at the counter, muttering about never shopping there again.
Cashier was a bit shaken up, but I'm not very good at consoling so I just said, "F**k her, we don't need her."
No, that's a good response. I'd be cheered up at that.
Hope You Didn't Need That Too Badly
I am the youngest person who works in my main office. I also happen to be the GM and part owner of the company.
Had someone come in, talking to one of the employees who has been here 28 years. This guy has a conniption about a warranty issue, asks for a manager. My guy comes and gets me, I go out there ask "how can I help?"
Guy says he needs a manager.
"Sir, I am the manager"
"Then I need the owner!"
"I am also the owner, what can I do for you?"
"I don't believe you!"
"Okay then. Employee, we are denying that warranty request, I'll let his management know what happened."
When I was 19 I was promoted to manager of the front of the house in this little seafood place I'd been working at since I was about 15. On the BOH (Back of House) manager's days off, I'd be the only manager there. This woman used to come in and order the clam chowder about once a week, eat it all, and then claim it was made differently than the last time and demand that it be comped. For some reason the previous manager always just did it. But it annoyed me that she was being rewarded for being dishonest since we had the same recipe and followed it exactly since the place had opened. I was just WAITING for her to try it on me and finally, she did.
I was the only manager there that day and sure enough one of the waitresses said she needed a comp for a table and there was the cheap@ss. I went over there and she told me "Last time you had all kinds of vegetables in this chowder! I'm not paying for it!" Bahahahaha! I was like, "Ma'am, we've been making that chowder the same way since the place opened and you know it as well as I do. So you can either pay for it like a decent person, or I can comp it and you are not welcome here ever again." Cue her demanding to see the manager. I nearly burst out in an evil villain style cackle when I informed her that she was looking at the manager. She tried to argue for a couple minutes and then finally gave up, paid, and never came back.
No, We Won't Bend The Rules Just For You
Ooh. I have one of these. Used to be a department supervisor for a library. Basically this meant I was third from the top in the system according to the org chart, and if my manager was gone then I was in charge of the building.
One day a lady is in our department complaining about some bit of policy. Can't remember what, but think an entitled suburban mom getting mad we won't bend policy for her. She finally demands to talk to my supervisor when I won't budge.
I smile. Tell her that's fine. Turn as though I'm going to get someone, but do a full twirl instead and hold out my hand. She looks at me like I'm nuts and I introduce myself as the supervisor and heard she had a problem.
The lady storms off to the front desk. A few minutes later one of the workers there comes back with this lady. Explains that she had a problem and wanted to talk to the person in charge. Which was me that day because my boss was out.
The look on her face when the front desk worker pulled her into the office to talk to the person in charge and I was sitting there grinning was delicious. I explained that we still wouldn't be changing our system policy just for her. Have a nice day.
Only time I've ever been able to do that, but it was fun.
Ignoring People Isn't The Way To Go
A salesman walks into the reception area where I happened to be. I ask him if I can help him and he barely acknowledges my existence. A few more attempts and he says wants to talk to someone more senior. At that moment one of the staff enters, who is older than me. The salesman immediately tries to flag him down and asks to speak to someone in charge. He points at me and says "Well the owner is standing right there".
I Need An Adult
Not the manager, but a woman called the store I (20 years old at the time) worked at and I answered the phone:
Me: [store name], ravensray speaking. Her: I need to speak to an adult. Me: hold on let me grab one... hello, ravensray speaking.
She was not amused, but my manager was.
Know When To Apologize
Maybe too late. Here it goes. I worked as a resident director aka the boss of the building for my university. Despite being in my 20's, I looked barely out of high school.
Move in day for all the freshman. The usual stuff happens. Crying parents and students. People trying to move in items that are not allowed. General crazy day nothing unusual yet.
Cue to a mom with the typical can I speak to your manager body language and haircut. She walks up to my staff member and demands another room for her child. The mom yells. Insults my staff. Finally she is screaming for a manager. I walk up and introduce myself and ask for her to tell me what's going on. The mom cannot believe her eyes. Me, this young man was the manager. She insisted on getting the real manager. I pull out my wallet and give her my card with my name and title clearly printed and informed her that I was the real manager. She continued to huff and puff until she ran out of steam.
Hours later I get knock on my door and it is the mom. She apologized for her behavior and explained it was stressful moving their child away from home. Emotions got the best of her and thanked me for treating her with respect despite her not showing the same.
If You Know It's Bad, Don't Buy It
I used to manage a vape shop. We would get unruly customers all the time. Lots of cheap a**holes.
This one guy comes in looking for a new tank. I show him our three most popular tanks. "Too expensive". He then points at a tank on my discount wall. The tank was a first generation and it's about 4 years old. So I was very up front with him. "Yes sir, it is a cheap tank. But I will let you know it's not a very good tank. It's one of the first tanks in the industry and is not great."
He insisted on buying it, so I sold it to him. And I let him know "Alrighty sir, just be aware that we do not allow returns on tanks. So if you don't like it, we can't take it back."
Cue 3 days down the road, he comes back complaining that I sold him a bunk tank. I said "yes sir, I did. But I told you it was a bad tank and you still opted to buy it, against my warnings. I told you we won't take it back."
He threw a massive fit and insisted on speaking to the manager. And this was after insulting me and cussing at me multiple times. I smiled and said "okay" and walked back to the office. Then I came back out and said "I heard you needed a manager?" Oooooh he was pissed. "GIVE ME A DIFFERENT MANAGER". "Sir, I'm the only manager. Please leave my store. You are no longer welcome here."
There was other managers. A district manager and a regional manager. But I had full autonomy in these matters and they'd be pissed if I had bothered them with this.
His final words were "you haven't seen the last of me!" I responded "that's okay, the police station is about 400 yards down the street. If I see you here again, they will be called." And he just angrily stormed out never to be seen again.
Sorry bro. I straight up told you not to buy that tank. You insisted because you're cheap.
Can't Do The Impossible
I run a support service for people without a lawyer. My clients, for the most part, are incredibly grateful and brave people. They are faced with navigating incredibly difficult legal processes alone - I respect each of them for the difficulties that they have to endure. Our service is limited in that we cannot provide legal advice (that will be important later).
But some people just want the world to bend over backwards for their every whim. I had one client who was demanding that the court provide her with transport on the day of her hearing (over 100 miles). Whilst I knew this was not at all possible, I went out of my way to go and speak to the relevant people to try and make it happen. I informed her that sorry, no, the court can't provide that for you, and I can't make it happen as I don't work for the court. Furthermore, I wasn't able to answer her questions as she was asking me to provide her with legal advice.
She became increasingly aggressive and was accusing me of obstructing justice for her, and for discrimination a) due to her not being British, and b) due to her disability. I remained calm as always, and tried to just make it clear that she was asking me to do things that I literally could not do. It came to a head when I became quite firm and told her that I couldn't do anything for her, and that I was going to have to put the phone down and get on with my other tasks.
She goes silent, and then, in a curt voice, says those magic words, "Can I speak to the manager please?"
The smile on my face spread. "I am the manager".
P.S. Honestly, I wanted to help her. Even though she was being awful to me, many of my difficult clients are incredibly stressed out, and the cuts to legal aid in the UK mean that so many vulnerable people are left to fend for themselves in the legal jungle. But there really comes a point where you can't let yourself be the sponge for other peoples' negativity, and you just have to put your foot down and take no sh*t.
Own Your Mistakes
I worked at a local diesel truck shop, where we sold aftermarket parts. I was talking to this one person who had a Dodge pickup truck, but ordered a Ford exhaust. Now, we're usually easy going on returns, if its a couple days over the 30 days, etc. But this one guy is saying that we shipped him the wrong exhaust. I'm looking at his order in the system and he ordered the wrong exhaust. I tell him there will be a restock fee and he has to pay shipping back to us. I send him a copy of his order and receipt. Still denies he bought the wrong thing. Says "Gimme your manager, I'm sure he can help me." That's when I look at the owner of the company, and they nod at me, I tell the customer on the phone "I am the manager sir." Said it with such confidence too - my first time ever having to use that line. His anger and arrogance just disappeared. Guy returned his exhaust system within 3 days to us, accepting the restock fee.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.